Dating in college is different

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Ralph Heibutzki's articles have appeared in the "All Music Guide," "Goldmine," "Guitar Player" and "Vintage Guitar." He is also the author of "Unfinished Business: The Life & Times Of Danny Gatton," and holds a journalism degree from Michigan State University.

You've heard the saying "Age is nothing but a number." You've also heard young women dismissed as gold diggers when they date older men.

Older students going back to college face advantages and disadvantages unique to their situation.

The financial sacrifices involved and struggle to balance course loads with work and family commitments represent the biggest disadvantages.

Laser notes in "Fobes" magazine's June 2012 report.

Factors to consider include the school's placement rate, industry outlook and if the degree will actually boost your lifetime earning power.

Think about it: Why would a 30-year-old want to date a teenager? "Get Support Get support from the people who mean the most to you.

Don't wait until four months down the dating road to tell your parents you've been seeing a guy who's six years older than you.

As a result, adult students are more likely to understand the value of an education and better positioned to focus on what they want to learn.

Having gotten the traditional distractions of dating and partying out of their system, older students are better able to focus on what's happening in the classroom.

As a returning student, you have an opportunity to become a positive role model for others.

Older students bring connections and life experiences that give them an edge in the job market.

Adult learners are typically hoping to make a mid-career transition, or upgrade their skills, according to Jennifer WIlliamson of the "Distance Education" website.

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